G o o d
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S p r i ng 2 011 C o n t e n t s Young Catholics Rise Up to be Counted. . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Rise Up: it’s kind of rhetorical. . . . . . . . . 2 Complete Surrender to God. . . . . . . . . . 3 Mon chemin au baptême. . . . . . . . . . . . 4 My Road to Baptism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 CCO At Home and Abroad. . . . . . . . . . 6-7 Heart for the World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Reaching Out to Catholic Teachers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 From Glory to Glory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Memories of Montreal. . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13 Missionary Hearts: A Tale of Two Rise Ups. . . . . . . . . . . 14 Humble Determination. . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Reaching Future Leaders T o day
From C atholic Christian outr e ac h
Young Catholics Rise Up to be Counted by Fr. Raymond J de Souza Chaplain at Queen’s University, Kingston
n annual highlight arrives in the last days of the year. That’s when Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) holds its annual conference for university students. They call it Rise Up, and it begins each year on Dec. 28 and runs through New Year’s Day. I first went in 2004 in Toronto, in my first year as chaplain of Newman House at Queen’s University. Completely conquered by the experience, I have returned every year since as it has travelled around the country — Vancouver, Quebec City, Calgary, Toronto again, Winnipeg, and this year in Montreal. Not all Catholics in Canada know about CCO, but they should. It is one of the most powerful works of the Holy Spirit in our country and a testament that the Gospel has not lost its power to attract souls — even those of the young. André and Angèle Regnier founded CCO in 1988 in Saskatoon, realizing that the university campus was indeed mission territory. While in previous generations it would have been enough to merely provide services for practising Catholic students, the current situation requires evangelization. CCO’s premise is that most students on campus, including
those from Catholic homes, have never heard the “Gospel preached simply and clearly.” So they do it. CCO full-time missionaries are usually recent university graduates themselves, and they raise all of their own income personally. Can you imagine the zeal for the Gospel and the trust in Providence required to accept that mission? There are dozens of them at campuses from Vancouver to Halifax, and they are evangelizing thousands of university students. To be with some 500 of those students in Montreal was a pure gift and why I have already booked the 2011 Rise Up in Vancouver on my calendar. “CCO is a university student movement dedicated to evangelization,” says the mission statement. “We challenge students to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith, with a strong emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world.” A key word there is fullness. They invite students to be more Catholic, not less. They understand that at the heart of the faith is the person of Jesus Christ. They teach people to pray. They encourage reception of the sacraments, especially promoting confession. Eucharistic
(Continued on page 9)
Complete Surrender to God:
Rise Up: it’s kind of rhetorical
Telling the World through
by Jeremy Keong, student at UBC Taken from Jeremy’s blog: http://theroad2emmaus.blogspot.com
by Anita Neumann, Student at Dalhousie University The following is the message Anita wrote and posted on her facebook page upon returning from Rise Up in Montreal.
just had the best New Year’s ever by attending CCO’s Rise Up Conference, this year held in Montreal. The days from Tuesday Dec. 28th to Saturday Jan. 1st proved to be such a beautiful example of how we, the young people in the Church, are challenging ourselves. Through talks, prayer, mass, praise and worship, workshops, exploring Montreal and ushering in the new year with a banquet and dance, the 600+ young adults, CCO staff, nuns, priests and bishops in attendance came to better understand how they are meant to more fully live and spread the Catholic faith. It was such a humbling, exciting and hopeful experience. It’s funny that I said “hopeful” experience. For the longest time, I was unsure as to whether or not I was even going to attend the conference. I woke up one morning and decided to go for it; many people from my parish were going as well, including my pastor. Even after I registered, I still did not really want to go. I always try to grow in virtue, but near the end of this past school term, I had the hardest time growing in hope: hope that my friends and I would continually become new creations in Christ, hope that God answers prayers, and hope that Jesus would return according to His plan, not mine. A part of me thought that going to Rise Up was simply trying to forget about things for a while. It seemed cowardly. Even so, I prayed that the speakers at the conference would mention
some things about hope. More importantly, I prayed that God would give me hope. And He did! Hope turned out to be such a crucial point for many of the talks during the conference! As He always does if I let Him, God chiseled away the stone of my heart to reveal flesh, this time through a song. The crowd favourite praise and worship song was one by Chris Tomlin entitled Our God is Greater. The bridge, in particular, is more of a battle cry than a song:
And if Our God is for us Then who could ever stop us? And if Our God is with us Then what could stand against? This bridge is epic. Everyone loved it. Everyone sang it. Everyone yelled it.
This song was sung many times, and this, coupled with Wednesday evening’s Eucharistic Adoration, allowed me to hear God saying, “Trust Me - I know what I’m doing. If only you let me in completely, I will do great things.” For the rest of the conference, every thing that happened was proof that I was supposed to be there. I have to hope that God will follow through, and hope that the Gospel will be spread by us, the Church militant, in due time. I’m not saying that the virtue of hope is now always easy to obtain and hold. It’s not. I know I will still have hard days – days during which spreading the Gospel with every fiber of my being will be difficult. But I am so grateful for the grace I received; I now have a better understanding as to why I need to have so much hope. (Continued on page 16) Jeremy (bottom left) and friends enjoying themselves at Rise Up Montreal Banquet and Dance .
ust after Christmas I decided to attend Rise Up 2010. It was held in Montreal, with close to 600 university students in attendance. At first I was reluctant. Many of my friends said that it would be an amazing experience but I felt guilty about leaving my family for 5 days of the holidays. I eventually agreed to go because I wanted to deepen my relationship with God. Rise Up seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that. There were several things that struck me at Rise Up: †† “We should be building bridges instead of walls”...Over the years I have built many walls around myself to avoid the pain that those close to me have inflicted. A turtle was shown during one of the talks... a turtle seeking safety reveals a cold, hard, uninviting shell. I had allowed myself to become a turtle but I no longer wanted to be one. I’m going to focus on building bridges and breaking down those walls. This will be a difficult feat, but with God, anything is possible. †† I want to see people as privileges, not as problems. I believe this will go hand-in-hand with breaking down my walls and building bridges. †† I sometimes tend to be building a spiritual resume for God to read once I reach heaven, and that’s NOT what I want to do. God loves me and you, my friendly reader, and this love is completely unconditional. We do not need to impress Him in our “doing” for Him. †† “We should accept our suffering and examine our cross”... It’s much easier to complain or ignore my crosses, instead of looking at them as learning opportunities. †† It’s not what we know, but WHO we know and what we’re concerned about. A doctor of theology could study long and hard, know everything about Catholicism, but still not know God personally. †† “To know but not to do is really not to know”... This is inspirational as I want to reach out to more people around me. I’m planning on leading another faith study this semester and saying “yes” to wherever He needs me to be. †† The “Fear of Man” can be consuming when it comes to sharing the faith. “What will people do if they know I love God and want to serve Him?” Rise Up helped me realize that maybe people will WANT to hear what I say. Obviously I learned a lot at Rise Up 2010. Many of my questions were answered. I had the pleasure of listening to many guest speakers and I learned something from each of them. I loved that Mass was bilingual and some of the guest speakers spoke in French. I spent time with close friends, had Mass at St. Joseph’s Oratory, saw St. Brother Andre Bessette’s tomb, and wandered around Old Montreal. But the highlight of my experience was the complete surrender of my heart to God. Before, I had been hesitant to place total trust in Him...I was afraid that maybe He didn’t know what He was doing with certain aspects of my life...funny, right? By the overwhelming sense of peace I received, I know that He received my heart. He loves me and wants the best for me, but He can only give me that if I open the door of my heart to Him all the way. Well, the door has been opened and I’ve added a welcome mat. Anita Neumann at Rise Up in Montreal.
T é m o i g nag e d’u n e é t u d iant e
S t u d e n t
Mon chemin au baptême
My Road to Baptism
par Nadège Michaud, étudiante de l’université Laval à Quèbec
urant la session d’automne 2010, j’ai suivi une étude biblique organisée par CCO : Mission Campus. Dès la première séance, l’animatrice m’a parlé de Rise Up et j’avoue que je n’étais pas du tout convaincue. J’avais peur de me retrouver à prier et à chanter des chants religieux tout le temps. Mais une amie m’a rassuré en m’expliquant que c’était parce que je n’avais jamais vécu un rassemblement religieux de cette envergure. Elle avait raison. Tout a commencé lors de la première messe. Je ne suis pas encore baptisée donc je ne peux pas communier et c’est frustrant de voir tout le monde se lever et prendre l’eucharistie. Ce jour là, lors de la communion, une religieuse m’a remarqué. En comprenant que je n’étais pas baptisée, elle m’a expliqué que je pouvais aller vers le prêtre les bras croisés pour recevoir sa bénédiction. C’est ce que je me suis empressée de faire. C’était si merveilleux! Depuis ce moment-là je ne passe pas une messe sans prendre cette bénédiction qui me comble le cœur. Le lendemain, Monseigneur Durocher a proposé de donner une bénédiction, une sorte de « deuxième baptême » pour réitérer cette alliance que nous avons fait avec Dieu. J’étais la première à me lever et à aller devant lui. Avant qu’il ne dise quoi que ce soit je lui ai expliqué que je n’avais pas encore été baptisée. La réaction qu’il a eue restera gravée dans ma mémoire à jamais. Il a ouvert les bras et s’est écrié « Ah! » Il a réagit comme j’imagine le père du fils prodigue a réagit
lorsqu’il a retrouvé son fils. Je me suis sentie aimée, voulue et accueillie par Dieu. Et la prière qu’il a fait pour mon cheminement au baptême m’a touchée si profondément que j’en étais émue aux larmes. À cela s’ajoute l’invocation du Saint-Esprit sur moi par des missionnaires de CCO: Mission-Campus. Je ne savais pas que tous les chrétiens étaient appelés à devenir des évangélisateurs. Mais chaque conférence ne faisait que renforcer cet appel à être missionnaire. Je suis donc allée vers eux en réponse à cet appel, Dieu m’a appelé et j’ai répondu oui. Mais cela ne s’arrêtait pas là. Le lendemain, j’ai assisté à un atelier sur la famille présenté par Brett et Andrea Powell. Ils ont dit une chose qui a changé ma relation avec ma famille : « L’environnement le plus fondamentale d’évangélisation est au sein de sa famille. » Le jour même je rentrais chez moi pour des problèmes familiaux. J’avais peur d’être blessée par ce qui allait se passer. Mais j’ai été surprise de me sentir en paix en plus de trouver une famille qui était à la recherche de Dieu. L’une de mes sœurs se posait des questions sur la foi tandis que l’autre n’avait aucun sentiment sur la religion, mais nous avons entamé de longues discussions sur la spiritualité. À mon retour à Québec j ‘ai entamé une étude biblique et le premier pas-
sage que nous avons étudié était Jean 1: «Ce qui était dès le commencement, ce que nous avons entendu, ce que nous avons vu de nos yeux [...] nous en rendons témoignage et nous vous annonçons cette vérité éternelle. » Ce passage m’a tellement interpellé que j’ai décidé de le partager avec mes sœurs et mon frère, chose que je n’aurais jamais fait auparavant. Des études bibliques avec ma famille sont alors commencés. Ma sœur qui se posait des questions commence à trouver des réponses et celle qui ne s’en posait pas m’a demandé de lui envoyer une Bible. Rise Up a été le point de lancement, un appel de Dieu à l’évangélisation. Dieu a permis que toutes les conditions soient réunies pour que ma famille et moi grandissions en Lui ou du moins commencions ce chemin qui mène à lui. De plus, ça m’a permis de mieux me préparer pour mon baptême qui se déroulera à Pâques.
t e st i m o n y
by Nadège Michaud, student at Laval University in Quebec City
uring the fall semester of 2010, I took a faith study offered by CCO on campus. Right from the beginning, the study leader told me about Rise Up and I must confess I wasn’t at all interested. I was uncomfortable with the idea of praying and singing religious hymns the whole time. But a friend of mine reassured me and told me not to worry and that it was only normal to feel this way since I had never been to a church conference before. She was right. Everything began at the opening mass. I am not yet baptized therefore I’m unable to receive communion and it’s frustrating to be at Mass and watch everybody else receive the Eucharist. At the Rise Up opening Mass during communion, a religious sister noticed that I didn’t go up for communion. Upon learning that I wasn’t baptized, she told me that I could go up with my arms crossed and receive a blessing from the priest. I did exactly just that and it was wonderful! Ever since then, I don’t go to mass without receiving this blessing, which fills my heart. The following day, Archbishop Durocher offered a blessing during his talk, a “second baptism” if you will, to as a way to renew the covenant we have with God through baptism. I was the first to stand and come up to him. Before he could say a word to me, I explained to him that I had not yet been baptized. His reaction will remain engraved in my memory forever. He stretched out his arms to me and said
“Ah.” He reacted exactly the way I imagined the prodigal father did upon the return of his lost son. I felt loved, desired and welcomed by God through this priest. And the prayer he pronounced for my journey to baptism touched me so profoundly that I was moved to tears. Another decisive moment came that evening when CCO missionaries prayed for the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon me. I had no idea that as Christians, we are all called to be evangelists. But each day and each talk at Rise Up only reinforced this call to be a missionary. So I came up to the CCO missionaries as a response to this call. God called out to me and I responded yes. But things did not end there. The next day, I attended a workshop on “Family with a Foundation” presented by Brett and Andrea Powell. This CCO missionary couple said something that changed my relationship with my family. They said: “the most fundamental environment of evangelization is in one’s family.” It so happened that I had to fly back home to France that same day due to some family problems. I had been fearful of what could potentially happen. But I was surprised to find myself feeling at peace and I was most surprised to find my family in search of God. One of my sisters was asking a lot of questions about faith. My other sister who was indifferent to religion engaged in long discussions with me on spirituality. Upon my return to Québec, I began a new CCO faith study with a friend and the first scripture passage we
studied was 1 John 1: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes […] we testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life.” This passage deeply spoke to me and it moved me to share it with my sisters and brother, which was something I had never done before. I have since begun faith studies with my family. My sister who asked me questions is beginning to find answers and the other one asked me to send her a Bible. Rise Up was a spring board, which God used to propel me to the work of evangelization. God made my family circumstances fall into place so that we would grow in Him or at the very least that we would be on the path leading to Him. Last but certainly not the least, all these things have allowed me to prepare well for my baptism which will take place at Easter.
More Rise Up coverage on pages 12-16.
University of Saskatchewan
University of Ottawa
Fun is a vital part of CCO staff life. The University of Ottawa team bonds together in the snow during their “fun day.”
Students from l’Université Laval pose alongside a statue of St. André Bessette, also known as St. André of Montréal. His canonization this past October was greeted with joy among university students from Québec.
Dalhousie & Saint Mary’s Universities
Simon Fraser University
CCO Halifax’s Student Leadership Team has fun performing a skit at the “Hub”, their monthly guest speaker’s event.
CCO SFU gathered for their annual Advent Party where they made gingerbread cookies! An important part of outreach includes celebrating the liturgical feasts!
at home and abroad University of British Columbia
Students from UBC serve food at the CCO Coffeehouse. A key aspect of CCO’s ministry is giving students opportunity for service and leadership within their community.
Carleton students and staff pose with CCO foundress Angèle Regnier at Rise Up.
Over 500 students gathered this past New Year’s Eve to attend CCO’s annual conference: Rise Up. A highlight of the conference was a celebration of St. André Bessette’s recent canonization.
University of Calgary
Students, staff, and alumni gather at Calgary’s monthly Cornerstone event. Cornerstone offers worship, community, testimony and a speaker on various themes through the school year.
CCO Saskatoon’s “House Party” is one of many off-campus social events held each year. It is an opportunity to grow in fellowship and community with fellow young Catholics in the city.
The national office staff members celebrate St. Valentine’s day with cookies and cupcakes. Often there will be campus missionaries in and out of HQ during feast days and celebrations.
Meet the Movement
This January, CCO founder André Regnier returned a second time to Uganda to train more students in how to lead a Discovery faith study.
The Summit, CCO’s monthly evening of Eucharistic Adoration and Confession has seen significant growth this year at Queen’s University. Every month between 50-60 students come to spend a quiet evening in prayer and worship before the Eucharist.
CCO hosts fundraising Gala’s across the country in support of local CCO missions on campus and to give an opportunity for new people to be introduced to CCO. Shown here are some CCO staff from Ottawa with Papal Nuncio Archbishop Quintana, Ottawa Archbishop Prendergast, Vancouver Archbishop Miller, and Ottawa Vicar General Msgr. Beach.
World Youth Day Preparation
Jeremy Lobo, team leader for the World Youth Day Madrid mission project travelled to Spain to plan and prepare for WYD as well as the pilgrimage that the CCO students will embark on. One stop will be in Avila. Jeremy is shown here at the doors of the Convent of the Incarnation where St.Teresa of Avila lived the majority of her life.
M i ss i o n t o U g a n d a P a r t II
Heart for the World by Josh Nadeau, CCO VINE Missionary, University of Calgary
hen we stepped off the plane into Entebbe International Airport we had no idea what miracles the Lord was planning to unfold. In the month of August of 2010 six student missionaries, led by two fulltime CCO staff, lifted off from a familiar Canadian landscape bound for the mission field God had prepared for us: Uganda. Our team included André Regnier (one of CCO’s founders), Melissa Westgeest (CCO team leader at Simon Fraser University), and student missionaries Ben Turland, Daniel Pettipas, Eloisa Tamondong, Kristen Boskill, Megan Crowe, and myself. Our itinerary was packed. We spent three days in Ottawa bonding, preparing and praying for the Lord’s will to be done over the course of the next three weeks – in our lives and in the lives of those we would be ministering to. Upon our arrival in Entebbe we drove to the diocese of Masaka to attend a Leadership Conference which was run by our hosts. We quickly adjusted to our new surroundings and soon found ourselves chatting with the participants, eating local food and attempting traditional Ugandan dances. We were only occasionally successful with the last one. But as we entered into the second and third weeks of our stay we began to see the profound fruit of the work the Lord had called us to do. We hosted an evangelization conference featuring CCO’s “Courageous Catholic” program, a comprehensive course which equips its participants to take up the call within the Church to the New Evangelization. Before our
eyes we saw our brothers and sisters awaken to the need in the Church to reach out to the lost – and our hearts experienced a deepening of conviction as well. Our relationship with the Ugandans ceased being that of leaders and participants as we became co-labourers together in the Lord’s vineyard. In our final week in Uganda we had the honour of visiting Ugandan Martyrs University (UMU) to assist a portion of our participants as they began to assemble Discovery faith studies for the coming semester. Many had a missionary zeal so powerful they had to create multiple faith studies at once. When the time came for our departure we were confident that we were leaving a group of missionaries who saw a vision for the renewed Church in Uganda, and had the tools to participate with Christ in its coming. But this was not the end of the story. Two key leaders in that community, Patrick Madrama and Stella Nabukeera, committed to continue the legacy of the Courageous Catholic program in Uganda. Focusing on the areas surrounding Masaka and Kampala (the capital city) they stayed in contact with André Regnier, who helped them direct the young movement. The faith studies continued at UMU, as well as at other campuses who had students representing them at our conference – and there was so great a response among their Discovery participants that they requested training to lead faith studies of their own.
And so in January 2011, two days after Rise Up Montréal, André found himself once again on the long flight to Uganda. This time, however, he was there for eight days to train nearly seventy young Catholics in how to lead Discovery studies. As of now, Stella and Patrick are coordinating campus ministries on six universities, all of which are beginning to use CCO’s materials for evangelization and leadership development. There are even more studies being run on other universities by independent students who have caught the fire from the Courageous Catholic program and have a vision for renewal on their campus. We are continually discerning our involvement in Uganda, and ask that you would join with us in praying that the Holy Spirit would not only make His will clear, but that what has begun in Uganda may continue to flourish so that Christ’s name would be proclaimed with zeal in all corners of the earth. Let us, together, have a heart for the world! For an account of the first trip to Uganda in August, see: http://ccouganda.blogspot.com/
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Young Catholics Rise Up to be Counted
(Continued from page 1)
adoration is central. The Holy Spirit is not neglected. They read the Scriptures devotedly. They present the magisterial teaching of the Church with confidence in the truth, not a grudging attitude. They present the Catholic faith as a joy to be embraced, not a burden to be borne. They are a model for how the Church should evangelize a culture where God is at the margins. And if all this can be done on the university campus, where hostility to religion and scepticism about truth often dominate the local culture, then there are sure grounds for hope that the Gospel has not lost its power. Bringing 500 faithful young Catholics to Montreal is a challenge. Montreal
is likely the least-practising major city in the Catholic world. For generations in Montreal the only real question has been whether the Church would withdraw from the culture before it was pushed out, or vice versa. The grand Notre Dame in Old Montreal now charges admission, exempting those who come to pray. Just like the admission charge at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s signals the collapse of the Church of England as a culture-shaping institution, so too does Notre Dame indicate a general attitude that what used to be is not and never shall be again. A culture that cannot support its principal shrines converts them to de facto museums, but they stand as tombstones — markers of places where the faith is dead.
So when a number of students at Rise Up went to Notre Dame for Mass, the cashier was sceptical that so many young people would actually want to do so. Surely it was some kind of trick to avoid paying the fee. Yet they prevailed, and it stands as a symbol of what these marvellous young Catholics do — overcome the scepticism of so many in the Church that the fullness of the Catholic faith still attracts souls to Jesus Christ. To see the Oratory of St. Joseph and Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral both filled with young people on fire for their faith, this is what the Church in Canada needs. Whatever travails each year brings, at Rise Up the year ends full of Christian hope.
Previously published in the Catholic Register, January 2011
Reaching Out To Catholic Teachers Name: Jennea Grison Education: Faculty of Education University of Ottawa Student Teacher at: Georges Vanier Catholic Elementary School Kanata, ON Age: 21 Years old The Discovery Faith Presentation and the example of CCO missionaries have profoundly impacted my life. Since taking the study: †† I have learned how to pray †† I am more faithful †† I am much happier †† I am building a relationship with Jesus †† I feel more confident about sharing my faith with others, including my students †† I have a better understanding of what our Catholic faith is all about
I was introduced to CCO in September 2010 when André Regnier made an announcement in my teacher’s college class about a seven week faith study. I signed up not knowing what to expect. André was a very enthusiastic speaker and quite humorous. During the study, he shared about his relationship with God; how it was deep and meaningful, and that he felt God’s love. He encouraged us to share our experiences of faith. We read scripture and we discussed it together. One day Holly, the CCO staff missionary who would lead this faith study came to our classroom. She introduced herself and shared her experience of CCO , she explained that she had wandered from her faith herself, and come back to her faith and was living a dynamic relationship with God. This made her relatable, I wanted to know more and I was very impressed with the way this young woman carried herself and expressed her faith. I wanted to know Jesus like she did; I wanted Him in my life. I grew up attending a Catholic school and going to Mass every Sunday. Attending church became more difficult because I was busy with hockey. Eventually I entered university and was still
not making time to attend Mass regularly. I went to church when I could and prayed only when I felt I needed to. After taking the CCO Discovery Study in teacher’s college, I have grown so much in my faith. My study leader shared the gospel with me through powerful analogies. I had never heard things explained so clearly. I have learned that Jesus wants to be part of my life. He wants me to choose Him and let Him into every aspect of my life. The Discovery Faith Study means a lot to me, because the truths of the Catholic faith were explained to me in a way I could understand and live out. After seven weeks I had a deep desire to know Jesus, and I have put him at the centre of my life. Holly, the CCO missionary who led my study has become a good friend. She has taught me how to deepen my faith through prayer and build a relationship with Jesus, something I am working on every day. After taking Discovery, Jennea courageously spoke in front of her classes to invite her peers to join a Discovery Faith Study. At the end of December she attended Rise Up in Montreal. She has recently been accepted to the IMPACT! Canada mission happening in Ottawa this summer. She also recently shared her testimony at the Ottawa Meet The Movement Gala in front of 300 people. Jennea is one of many young teachers being equipped with tools to clearly and simply share the gospel as leaders in the Catholic school system, and in their community.
From Glory to Glory by Josh Nadeau CCO VINE Missionary, University of Calgary
n May 2010, nearly fifty participants from across Canada travelled to Calgary to take part in CCO’s annual summer mission project: Impact! After settling into their new home, the participants received extensive evangelization formation, began to live in community, ran faith studies in local parishes, and built leaders for the renewal of the Church in Canada and in the world. The theme of this mission project was “Transformed from Glory to Glory,” but little did anyone know how prophetic those words would become.
executive right away, and they were instrumental in getting CCO club status at the U of C. But they were much more than a competent team: they were missionaries in so many ways. And many of the new students who encountered CCO for the first time were able to look to the student executive for example and leadership.
in Calgary. “Folks in Calgary have been primed for CCO for a while, which is awesome,” says Sam Flynn, chairperson of the UCCC, “what the community has been needing lately is a greater presence on campus, so it’s beautiful to see the way our ministries overlap and the way our events build off each other.”
Fifty students signed up for the first wave of faith studies – fifty students in our first semester! The first thing an expansion team usually dreads is an expected lack of response from
When I asked about what has made the transition a smooth one, he responded “the community has been familiar with CCO for a number of years, with some of our leaders being alumni of CCO campuses or mission projects – which helps a lot to bridge the gap.” He himself is an alumnus of two Impact missions: 2009 in Saskatoon and 2010 in Calgary.
CCO team at U of C: Suzanne Baril, Josh Nadeau, Kate Ford and Stephan Kaip
The mission project was an incredible success, but it was only the beginning. Soon after the Impact project ended and the newly formed missionaries returned to their cities and campuses, CCO launched their official expansion to the University of Calgary with a team of four full-time staff: Stephen Kaip (Team Leader/ District Director), Kate Ford, Suzanne Baril, and myself. Any feelings of anxiety over how we were to follow-up such a fruitful mission were incredibly misplaced, as the response to the expansion was enormous.
The momentum coming from the Impact mission was tangible – when we set up our promotion tables during “clubs week” we heard from many people who had known CCO through summer Cornerstone (guest speaker) events or faith studies held in their parish. We were able to gather a committed and resourceful student
students but we were faced with the opposite situation: almost having too much! Our first Cornerstone event in the school year started small with an attendance of fewer than forty people, but soon Cornerstone (as well as our Summit events) began to see crowds of more than seventy people on a biweekly basis. While much of this momentum was due to the success of the Impact mission, the University of Calgary Catholic Community (UCCC) played a huge role in our adjustment to life
Through the combined efforts of CCO Calgary and the UCCC, more souls have been reached than would have been possible for one ministry alone. “CCO and the UCCC operate like two lungs” remarks Suzanne Baril, a member of the CCO staff team who was part of the UCCC last year, “CCO is about reaching out to new people, bringing them into the community life the UCCC provides, and then commissions them in turn to be missionary in their daily lives.” The story of CCO’s presence in Calgary is truly one of going “from glory to glory” – from the glory God worked in the powerful fruit of Impact into glory He has shown and continues to show in the school year as we continue our ministry on campus. We look forward to a long and blessed ministry for CCO Calgary.
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Missionary Hearts: A Tale of Two Rise Ups
Humble Determination By Marlena Loughheed Journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, NS and a CCO VINE alumnus.
by Jasmine Chevalier CCO student at the University of Ottawa
y first Rise Up was in Winnipeg, 2009, but I went only to please my sister. However, during Eucharistic Adoration Fr. Mark Goring, CC, gave an amazing talk on allowing Jesus into your life. He called upon anyone who had never done this to come forward and be prayed over. I thought my heart would burst out of my chest! I didn’t know what I was feeling or if I should go up. I needed a push. My friend leaned over and said, “Have you ever done this before?” and I told her I hadn’t. She said that she had and I should go try. That was the push I needed. As I walked up my face was burning. We repeated after Fr. Mark: “Jesus, I love You and I want to serve You”. I immediately felt like lightning had shot through me. I didn’t know what was happening, but I suddenly wanted to go to confession. I quickly got in the line-up. Afterwards, I felt like 10,000 pounds had been lifted
from my shoulders! I had never experienced such a powerful reconciliation. When I returned to my pew the worship band was playing unfamiliar songs, but I felt my arms being lifted up and words coming out of my mouth as I sang to the Lord as I never had before. Jesus had been waiting on the other side of the door for me to let Him in, and now He was holding me in the palm of His hand. What an amazing and powerful feeling! I felt so protected and joyful. Because of last year’s experience, I could not turn down the offer to attend this year. And how could I not invite others to experience the wonderful joy God had granted me? I invited three friends. One was living out her Catholic faith, the second believed but was struggling, and the third wasn’t even sure if she believed that God existed. I was especially surprised when my third friend agreed to come to Rise Up. She gave up her Christmas break to come to a Catholic conference! I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I prayed that God would spark a flame in her heart and she’d desire to know Christ more. And something did happen: she had an uplifting experience and sensed that there was a God!
Jasmine (right), her sister Holly (left), and her friend Elese (centre) who gave “the little push” at Rise Up Winnipeg.
When the CCO Staff prayed a prayer of commissioning she chose to go forward! I prayed like crazy as I saw her get up. When she returned I saw that she was crying. She told me that a scripture passage had been read that spoke to her and she felt captivated by it. All I could do was pray with her. She needed to know that God was real, and that what she experienced was real. Back at school she agreed to join in a CCO Faith Study that I was leading, a big step for her and an exciting opportunity for me. I still struggle, but I feel called to evangelize and seek out the lost. I no longer fear sharing my faith because I have seen how powerfully God works, both in my life and in the lives of those around me who desperately need to hear the Gospel. Last year at Rise Up I felt that I was learning how to become a missionary. At this year’s Rise Up I was learning how to BE a missionary.
Jasmine (centre) with the friends she invited to Rise Up Montreal.
his summer I travelled to Quebec City for a wedding. While I was in town, I attended Sunday mass at a local parish. I was immediately shocked when I walked into the church and saw how few people were in the pews. In the small crowd, my friend and I were the only ones who were younger than 50. I had heard that the church in this province was in crisis, but I didn’t realize the full extent of the crisis until that day. It is no secret that the church in Quebec is experiencing tumultuous times. The past two decades have seen a radical secularization of the birthplace of the Church in Canada. But in the midst of secularization, there exists great hope. This hope shone brightly at
CCO’s Rise Up conference in Montreal this past December. Five hundred students gathered in a downtown hotel for four days of talks, worship and fellowship. The theme of the conference came from the words of the recently canonized St. André of Montreal: “I am only a man, just like you.” These words encouraged students to strive for greatness through humility. A visit to St. Joseph’s Oratory during the conference was a testament to the determination of a humble man. Although he didn’t have great influence, St. André envisioned an oratory where the faithful could gather. He prayerfully did what was necessary to carry out God’s mission for the building of this church. During a special mass in the crypt at St. Joseph’s Oratory, CCO students and staff filled the pews. Fr. Tom Rosica summed up the hope that Rise Up brings to the province of Quebec:
“It may be winter here in Montreal, but it is springtime in the Church.”
I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between the packed crypt church during Rise Up and the empty parish I visited this summer in Quebec City. But, it isn’t the numbers that suggest springtime in the Church. The mission of those present to go out and spread the Gospel is what offers hope for renewal. Reviving the Church in Quebec is not going to take place overnight. From St. André’s experience, we know that there are challenges waiting to meet us. But greatness can be achieved with humble beginnings and prayerful determination to carry out a specific mission. Right now, the young people of CCO are laying the foundation for renewal in our Church by evangelizing on their campuses, at their workplace and in their families. Rise Up commissioned hundreds of young people to go forth and rebuild the Church in Quebec and in Canada. Just as the oratory was built one brick at a time, CCO students reach out to one person at a time, all the while envisioning the greatness that can come through humble determination.
Pope John Paul II is being beatified on May 1st! Visit cco.ca in late April for exciting news, including the launch of our newest Faith Study dedicated to him: Commission. Photo
Rise Up: it’s kind of rhetorical
(Continued from page 2)
Some of the speakers and CCO staff said that they have helped people come to the Church, some quickly, and others over a much longer period of time. But throughout all that, these modern day disciples have used hope to fuel themselves and to empower themselves with the full armour of God (see Ephesians 6:13-17). I didn’t get a chance to meet everyone; I actually got to know fewer people than I would have liked. But whenever I encounter a bleak situation and need to call upon the Holy Spirit to bestow hope upon me, I know that everyone that was at this conference will all be hoping. From Victoria to Halifax, I know that they will all be hoping. From the laity to the religious, I know that they will all be hoping. Next year’s Rise Up Conference is taking place in Vancouver, and I cannot wait to not only be a great host to any visitors, but to be able to be an instrument through which God can spread this hope. By the time we rang in 2011 by singing praise and worship songs (what an amazing way to celebrate with such a wonderful community!), the voices of the young Church reverberated throughout the banquet hall loudly and proudly. As we sang Tomlin’s Our God is Greater, I saw and heard the answers to the questions in the bridge - questions that really are rhetorical. Rhetorical because we are the army of God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the Love we use as our weapon to spread hope against the darkness in this world will undoubtedly conquer. Who can stop us? “Always be ready to make to anyone who demands from you an accounting of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
Catholic Christian Outreach is a university student movement dedicated to evangelization. We challenge young adults to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith, with an emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world
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